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Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

April 4, 2018
Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

Instagram has become a valuable marketing tool for many industries, including higher education. Yet many institutions are unsure how to utilize Instagram (or remain unconvinced of its influence on consumers). Is your institution profiting from this beneficial form of social media?

Why use IG for marketing?

  • Reach potential students: 80% of IG users live outside of the U.S.
  • Target international student demographic: ​​59% of users are ages 18-29
  • 80% of IG users follow a business
  • 71% of businesses use IG, double from 2016
  • Influencers overwhelmingly prefer IG for brand collaboration: consider scholarships for international influencers*

Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

Tips for posting school photos on Instagram

  • Develop/use branded hashtags (7 out of 10 hashtags on IG are branded!)
  • Always use a location (posts with a location  receive almost 80% more engagement)
  • Post on weekdays: this is when engagement is highest
  • Photos receive 36% more engagement than videos.
  • Post photos of students and staff: photos with faces receive 38% more likes
  • Consider the overall look of the gallery (vertical vs. horizontal photos; consistent filters and borders)
  • Use logos (naturally) in photos when possible
  • Create a gallery that is a mix of campus activities, academics, and social outings
  • Use photos to illustrate your school’s diversity
  • Make use of Instagram stories for content that is relevant but not necessary for your gallery (posts disappear within 24 hours)
  • Don’t be afraid to promote programs and specials: 65% of top performing IG posts feature a product
  • Host IG contests with your students: user-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate.
  • Don’t be afraid of emojis: 50% of content on IG has at least one emoticon

Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

Need more tips on marketing your educational institution online? Contact Lastarria Media.

* be sure to develop a clear agreement regarding the content that must be posted in exchange for an influencer’s scholarship

Statistics source.

Copyright 2018, Lastarria Media, LLC.

Blogging for IEPs Marketing SEO Web Content

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

March 7, 2017
10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

With IEPs working hard to place emphasis on academic excellence, effective curriculum, and student success, administrators are often left wondering: what is the value of a having a blog? In addition to showcasing content and visuals that don’t have a “home” on traditional college webpages, blogs provide a direct line of communication between the institution and its current (and potential) students, and play a key role in Search Engine Optimization. Here are 10 of the reasons universities need blogs for both current and potential students.

#1: Direct communication with potential and current students

In a world where brochures, PDF flyers, and websites seem to repeat the same, tired content, universities need blogs to provide students a “live” aspect to the school: an online platform where the institution can communicate directly with their current and potential student base and highlight research advancements, academics, student life, and university successes. Blogs provide a direct line of communication between the academic institution and the current and potential student and breathe life into the materials that are seen as stagnant by younger generations.

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#2: High (and easily tracked) ROI

Blog content can be produced and published quickly and–with the implementation of carefully selected keywords and content written for high search engine optimization–can result in higher ROI than traditional paper campaigns. Tracking the blog’s success is also a simple process: Google Analytics reports make it easy for clients to track their readership, including the regions/countries most often searching for the blog’s content.
10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#3: Universities need blogs for PR

Scientific breakthrough? New research grants? Press releases are rarely read by current or potential students. Blogs provide a fresh platform for promoting the university’s academic achievements.

Blogs allow the school to highlight activities, students, and programs that are not always given proper attention in brochures and on websites, and allow this content to be shared “in real time” when a content specialist is on-hand to produce the necessary materials. Furthermore, blogs allow for expansion of PR materials: newsletters, brochures, and web pages are limited in space, and these restraints require selectivity which leads to vital information not being shared with the public.

#4: Contact with potential students

Blogs are a vital resource for potential students and provide students with honest insight into life at the school. What better way to provide potential students with a look into their future as a student than to highlight the campus events, social activities, and regional tourist draws?  Universities need blogs as another form of advertisement. (Remember: potential students do not read press releases!)

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#5: Visual AND content marketing

Blogs allow an appealing visual aspect, allowing for visual marketing in addition to content marketing. Brochures, pamphlets, webpages, and other materials are limited in their ability to share the professional images taken by hired photographers; blogs allow a “recycling” of this expense. Blogs allow for further use of professional videos and photos, ensuring that these materials are seen by a broader audience. 

#6: Blogs provide an additional (and vital) student service

By working together with staff, faculty, and students, it is possible to create a blog that serves all parties. Blogs can be used as an additional resource for teachers, a method for staff to provide extra information to current students, and an excellent reference for agents. Consider recycling content into a newsletter for students or agents: this is a cost-effective way to get more mileage out of blog content. 

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#7: Ease of integration into marketing plans

Blogs easily work into larger-scale marketing campaigns for the school, including events, newsletters, Facebook or email campaigns, or more for any programs the school would like to promote. A competent Blog Editor will work closely with the school’s internal marketing to stay informed of–and prepare content related to–upcoming events or important concepts the school would like to showcase.

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#8: Platform for testimonials

What better way to showcase your school than through the experiences of happy and successful current and former students? Blogs allow this in an uninhibited manner and allow for constant updates, rather than waiting for brochures to undergo copy editing, proofing, and publishing. In this way, blogs serve as an immeasurably important marketing tool for universities.

#9: Blogs significantly improve SEO

Proper site indexing, incorporation of keywords into posts, and SEO integration ensures that the blog will attract students via Google searches. In fact, in many cases, Blogs provide the majority of the web traffic for schools. 

As blogs are more adaptable, the keywords implemented are more flexible and can change with time. Additionally, the more casual language often used in blogs make it easier to organically implement long-form keywords, which are quickly becoming an important factor in publishing and in SEO.

#10: Blogs reflect a school’s “personality”

The widespread acceptance of varying blog content allows the school to design a blog that reflects the school’s needs and the institution’s personality.

 

Lastarria Media produces viral blog content for IEPs. For more information on how to create a blog for your IEP, contact Lastarria Media

Blogging for IEPs Marketing Web Content

How IEPs Can Use a Website to Attract International Students

March 7, 2017
10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

With the international student market increasing for U.S. colleges and universities each year, institutions are finding it more difficult to differentiate their programs from their competitors. Most schools are unaware of how to attract students on the web, but copy writing geared for international students is an effective way to establish a program as different from–and better than–the others in the eyes of an international student or potential agency. Read on to learn more about how to use copy writing with the aim of attracting international students.

Copy writing for international students: how to attract students on the web

Quality web content should include the following:

A well constructed, easy-to-read website. Design and simplicity are key, especially in the case of web pages aimed at non-native speakers.

A blog that breathes life into the school. Standard web pages provide the basic information necessary for the customer to make an informed decision on his or her academic future, but these pages lack the vivacity needed to attract and retain students.

Active social media posts to share blog posts and reflect the atmosphere of the school. Make the most of your investment into a blog and be sure that all posts are shared on social media. Each post provides an opportunity to market the ideal student life and academic atmosphere to a potential student.

Suggested post content

When creating a blog aimed at attracting international students, consider the following:

SEO. Written content is of no worth if it is not read. Be sure that your webpage, blog, and all posts are highly optimized to receive the best ROI. Furthermore, to establish an online presence and a stable readership (while improving SEO), it is vital that posts are published on a regular basis.

Readership/Attraction. Ultimately, all content should be centered on things students want to read!The content should always been reader-driven and focus on topics that are of use to the current or potential students.

Honesty. Content should always honestly portray the school, its programs, its staff and faculty, and student life. Additionally, content should not be veiled advertisements, but rather an opportunity to showcase programs and the school using a fresh approach.

An emphasis on education. The reader is either a potential student, agent, or current student; therefore, emphasis on the school’s ultimate goal–education–is key. Make sure to incorporate an aspect of learning into each post, so that each article is both informative and educational.

Potential for social media success. Will this post translate to an engaging Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post? Consider the viability of each post on social media before approving content to be written.

For more information on blog success for the international education sector, contact Lastarria Media.